UPS AND DOWNS
Wild-card chances * DOWN * Let's get this straight: They've got to beat out six other teams. No chance.
Hurricane Felix * DOWN * Not even an act of God can stop The Streak.
Rafael Palmeiro * UP * Actually, this hot streak started during the brutal road trip. He just didn't have that many hits to show for the way he was hitting the ball.
Phil Regan * EVEN * He'll be with the Orioles for the rest of the year. Beyond that, no guarantees.
Armando Benitez * DOWN * If this year is a learning experience for him, as Regan says, then he deserves extra credit for the pounding he has taken.
Ben McDonald * DOWN * At this rate, his next appearance will take place sometime next March.
Bill Clinton * UP * Plans to take time out from his busy schedule to see Cal. Wonder whether Newt Gingrich will ask for equal time.
Quote of the week
"How do we get seven games under .500? Look at this team. We've got a good pitching staff, depth on the bench. That's what kills me. That's what kills all of us, to see how far it's [sunk]. I mean, what do you do?
Jesse Orosco, after the
Red Sox swept the Orioles
Stat of the week
Conventional wisdom when the season started was that the Orioles had one of the best rotations in baseball. Mike Mussina has won 13 games. The other four starters -- Ben McDonald, Kevin Brown, Sid Fernandez and Arthur Rhodes -- have combined for nine Orioles wins, at a total cost of $11 million.
The week ahead
Monday-Wednesday, at Seattle. The last time the Orioles played at the Kingdome, Ken Griffey broke his wrist running into the right-center-field fence. He's back, just in time to fuel what figures to be a spirited run for the wild-card spot. Seattle has loaded up, adding Andy Benes and Vince Coleman, and the Mariners have one of the game's best offensive teams.
Thursday-Sunday, at California. Back in May, the Orioles won two of three games against the Angels in Anaheim. Seems incredible now, considering the direction the clubs have gone in since then.
Rick Krivda got in trouble in the first inning in Boston last Sunday, giving up three runs on a homer by Jose Canseco. After that, he shut down the Red Sox. Has displayed nerves of steel thus far, and looks like a keeper.
The Orioles have been terrible at situational hitting, but they hit bottom last Sunday against Tim Wakefield. With the O's trailing knuckleballer Tim Wakefield 3-0, Manny Alexander and Curtis Goodwin both swung at 2-0 pitches. Wakefield threw 128 pitches in that game, no-hitting the Orioles into the seventh inning, and threw only 65 strikes.
Bobby Bonilla trying to catch fly balls in the peripheral winds of Hurricane Felix on Thursday. Two straight misplays, two runs.
A move that paid off ...
On Aug. 11 in Boston, Jeff Manto batted for Curtis Goodwin and hit the Orioles' second pinch-hit homer of the year, tying the score at 4 in the eighth.
... and one that didn't
On Monday, Armando Benitez turned a 6-6 game into a 9-6 deficit in the ninth inning. On Wednesday, Benitez gave up a three-run homer in the seventh that increased the Orioles' deficit from two to five runs.